I don't have fireflies in my garden - which is a shame... only cats, bees, a dog and the odd dragonfly!! So please settle down with a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Penguins on Parade on the last day of the year....

Wow, New Year's Eve of 2011.  Where has the year gone too?  It really doesn't seem like 12 months since I was sitting here writing about the demise of 2010 and now we have 2011 breathing it's last gasp.

As a treat to end the year on Hubby and I decided to go over to Penguin Island.

Penguin Island is a little eco-bird santuary island off the coast of Rockingham - a 5 minute ferry ride to be precise.  There is a sand bar that connects the island to the Rockingham coastline and some stupid people do try to walk across when the tide is out.... however we value our lives and took the ferry!  Even though the sand bar is closed to public access people still walk across it!!!

We have been wanting to do this for years but never seem to have the time so today was the day!! It seems like today was the day for quite a lot of other people as well....  the ferry was so busy that instead of running it every hour they were running it continuously.  The weather was just fantastic - sunny, warm but not too hot with the loveliest sea breeze!  Almost too blowy on one side of the island!!

While over on the island we went into the Discovery Centre and watched the 10 Little Penguins get fed.  When we were talking to the Ranger after the feeding she was telling us how old the penguins were - the oldest is 19 years old!!  Can you believe it!  They all look so young and so little....

Swimming pool where the penguins have their dinner....
The sea water gets changed every day....
Aren't they adorable?

At the moment it is moulting season for the penguins so they are actually highly stressed.  Of course the heat at this time of the year doesn't help either for the poor things.  The penguins in the Discovery Centre are either orphans or injured ones that can't be returned completely to the wild.  They have already moulted so their feathers don't look quite so messy.  A couple of the ones that we saw out around the island are all messy while their feathers drop out.

After watching the feeding we went for a walk around the island along the boardwalk that runs around the areas of the island that the public are allowed to go to.  Part of the walk goes along a section of the beach.  So nice to walk on the beach and feel the sand in your toes.  The beach is littered with these limestone rocks and caves.  They are fascinating, and then we noticed a penguin pop out of one near the water and go for a swim!

Amazing limestone rock formations around the island and the beach

Little penguin hiding under the rocks after he went for a cooling swim

Hubby sitting in amongst the limestone rock formation
As we were heading back to the Discovery Centre to catch the ferry back to the mainland we saw some penguins hiding under the boardwalk.  These ones are still moulting so there feathers all look fluffy and brown rather than sleek and black.

Little penguin hiding under the boardwalk - he is currently moulting which is why he looks all fluffy

Small Little Penguin hiding in the bushes near the boardwalk
When we got back onto the mainland we wandered around the gift shop and bought a couple of penguins...

A new snowglobe to add to the collection!
To finish off our morning out we decided to have fish and chips for lunch and sit and watch the kiteboard and sailboard riders.

Such a lovely way to spend a morning on the last day of the year!

As the final hours of the year roll away I was thinking about the year that has gone by.  I have managed to do far more stitching this year than I have done in a long time.  So in that sense 2011 has been a very successful year even if I didn't quite get all my stitching goals completed.  On a personal level this year has been good for us as well... Hubby started a new job in February and has settled in quite nicely now.  My job is still going along well even with a change of boss mid-year.  Both of Hubby's sons have also had a good year and they both ended the year reasonably settled in their lives... well as settled as a 21 and 25 year old can be!!  The rest of the family have all been safe and healthy this year and made it through the year safe and sound.

Around the world 2011 hasn't been that great for a lot of people.  There has been some horrible natural disasters here in Australia and abroad that have struck at the heart of people's lives and left so many people heartbroken and without loved ones, homes and personal possessions.  Some people have recovered but many are still going along the road of recovery.  I do hope that 2012 is a better year for all those hurt in 2011, and also for everyone else at home and around the world.

I would like to say thank you to all my followers over the last year for your lovely comments and for taking time out of your busy days to read my posts and ramblings!  I would also like to say thank you to everyone out there in blogland - thank you for the inspiration and tutuorials.  I have loved reading all about what people have been stitching and what happens in different places around the world.  Blogging really does bring the world closer together.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and a wonderful, properous 2012.  May your needles stay sharp and your fingers stay nimble over the coming year.

Til next year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day...where's the TV remote?

Hi there!  How is everyone on this lovely Boxing Day?  Did you survive Christmas Day?  Or are you right now wishing you hadn't over-indulged in food and drink yesterday?  Either way I hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas Day.

Today is definitely the day for sitting in front of the telly and not moving very far!!  We had a lovely Christmas Day.  The day started off early as it always does in our house... the sky starts to lighten around 4.45am and once the sky is light the cats are awake, and when the cats are awake so is Daisy and that means it's time for Mum and Dad to get up too.....  We did manage to get a sleep in yesterday to about 5.30am... bonus!

After feeding the grey wonders and having a cup of tea in bed, we took Daisy dog out for a early walk.  Then it was ham and eggs for breakfast and hey presto before you know it's time to put the turkey in the oven!  We then opened the couple of presents that were under the tree and gave the furry ones their stockings.  Daisy enjoys the unwrapping but the cats aren't that fussed!  However there were some little things in a stocking for them.

Daisy unwrapping her Xmas snuggy!
We bought Daisy a new snuggy which she adores.  The first day snuggy always loses a leg or two, but the rest of it lasts for about a month.  Once she gets the balls out of the body the tennis ball is destroyed in a matter of minutes but the plastic ball generally lasts for ages.  You can actually see in the back of this photo what is left of the snuggy that she had been playing with up until yesterday.

Daisy and her new Snuggy
The boys had a couple of new "mouses" and a funny coloured thing in their stocking.  Oscar had a little play.... but Felix liked the new mouses.  I went and checked on him about 1/2 an hour after they "opened" their pressies and found him sitting in front of the Christmas tree.....

Where's the mouse Felix?
He obviously thought that mouse looked quite good as a Christmas decoration!  Honestly, he did this.... neither hubby or I set this up... it was all Felix's work!

After lunch we had an hour of sitting outside on the patio listening to some good old Aussie pub rock (Micheal Buble was all worned out!) and enjoying the very mild summer's day!  (Most unusual for this time of the year in Perth).  My brother rocked up around 4pm, stayed for a leftovers dinner and the night.  It wasn't a late night though as we were all knackered and in bed by 9pm!

So after a big day yesterday, today is a very quiet day doing nothing in front of the telly.  Hubby is trying to keep busy though so that he doesn't worry too much about his eldest son who is currently sailing in the "Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race" in a 50ft yacht called "Knee Deep".  We watched the start of the race and tried to catch a glimpse of Knee Deep - they were up with the big boys in the first starting line this year, but unfortunately "Wild Oats XI" is apparently the only boat in the race... or at least that's what it seems like as Channel 7 only really showed Wild Oats XI.  Never mind....  For the next few days now Hubby will have to be content with following the race via the yacht tracker.....

We have now switched channels and are watching the Boxing Day test between Australia and India.  Sailing and Cricket are the two main staples of an Aussie Boxing Day!!  Oh and of course turkey sandwiches and left over trifle and/or Christmas pud.  Oh my goodness... more food!  Oh well the diet will start next week....

That's all from me for now.  I hope that everyone is enjoying their Christmas holidays.

Til next time, take care...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Good morning everyone!  Merry Christmas! 

I hope that this Christmas Day finds you all safe, happy and well.  Did Santa leave you lots of lovely surprises under the tree or in your stocking?  Did anyone get more stash?

Our day will be a very quiet one with just Hubby and I and the furry ones for lunch.  Hubby's two sons are not in Perth this year - one is in Sydney preparing to depart on Boxing Day and sail in the "Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race", and the other is in the UK where he is now studying Fine Art.  My parents and my two sisters and their families are at my Mum and Dad's in Dongara, but we decided not to travel this year.  So staying home we are!!  However, my brother and his partner have also stayed in Perth and will be coming over later this afternoon and staying for dinner.... well, someone has to help us consume the leftovers!

As we celebrate this very special day in our own special way, I would like to thank you all for reading my blog over the last year and for your comments and friendship along the way.
I wish you and yours all the best for this Christmas and for the New Year to come.  Stay safe and look after yourselves and each other.

Hugs to you all, see you again very soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Totally Useless SAL - New Moon 24 December 2011

Oh my goodness it's time for another New Moon ORT Report.  This is the last one for 2011.

In my little ORT jar this month are lots of Chistmas colours from the Christmas cards that I have been stitching the last month.

This month I stitched a little kitty ornament for the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" Christmas Exchange along with a secret card for the MS Lovers Blog Christmas Exchange, and finally I have just stitched a freebie Joan Elliott design which is a cute teddy Christmas Card.  Oh, and I also finished off a little Christmas stitch into a ornament which I sent to my Mum and Dad for their tree.

All the above will be revealed in a later post - this post is all about the final TUSAL ORT report for 2011!

Where do we find the ORT jar this New Moon... well, seeing as how it's Christmas they must be somewhere with Santa Claus or the elves!

TUSAL 24 December 2011
Oscar and the TUSAL jar and all things Christmassy!
Well, here they are... with Christmas puppy, some crackers, Joy Lindt choccies, snowglobes and of course a cat!!

While I was working out what to do for this month's photo Oscar and Felix decided to put on the Michael Buble christmas CD.  "Michael Buble" - said in our best Graham Norton impression!!  So Michael Buble's CD had to be in the photo too...

After I took this photo Felix decided to have a look at what was in the bag on the table that we bought back from City Farmers.  In this bag is the presents for Daisy dog and the puddy tats!  Of course Felix had to find it, and try to get into it.....  and when he did get into it there was somethng in the bag that I didn't realise was in there.
Can you see the cute little red hat sneaking out of the bag?
The pink thing that you can see is Daisy's new snuggie!!
Have a look at what we found in the bag.... and doesn't this make a great December TUSAL?

TUSAL picture number 2 - December 2011
Christmas gift from City Farmers and the ORT's jar
So that's it for this ORT report and for the 2011 TUSAL!  In January we will start all over again next year.

The hunt now begins for a new TUSAL far to collect my 2012 ORT's.  I do have a jar in mind but.... I think that it is probably way too big.  I received a gift at work the other day which was a jar full of toffees and at first I thought "Yes, my 2012 TUSAL jar!", but - well, have a look and tell me what you think?

Could this be the 2012 TUSAL jar..... maybe not!
If you wish to sign up for the 2012 TUSAL drop in on Daffycat's blog.

Til the next new moon on 23rd January 2012, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's keep growing!

Merry Christmas!

New Moons - 2012
23 January
21 February
22 March
21 April
20 May
19 June
19 July
17 August
16 September
15 October
13 November
13 December

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twisted Stitch-A-Longs

Hello again!  Well, we survived the storms last night.  The media are calling it a one in 100 year storm!  But that probably means nothing these days - they said that about the storm that went through last Tuesday which ended up closing the Perth airport for a number of hours!  This one though was pretty spectacular with some amazing lightning, and that thunder just rolled on and on for hours.  There was a reasonably bit of damage to some people's homes and one town further down south of Perth was even flooded....  Apparently it was Perth's third wettest day for 60 years!  We had 43.6mm of rain yesterday and overnight which actually exceeds Perth's whole summer rainfall average of 35mm!  Looking at the sky tonight I think there is more on the way although the radar doesn't show anything much at the moment.

Enough of the storm chasing.... the storm lasted almost as long as George Clooney's visit to Australia today!!

This is really just a very quick post tonight as I wanted to let you know about some SAL's that are happening at the moment.  I saw these on a couple of blogs today while I was attempting to catch up on blog reading... yet again!  Now while I would love to join in with these I know that I will never be able to keep up so I thought I would do my bit by doing a "shout out" about them so that those of you that may not have heard about them yet can join in.  I will be following the blogs so that I can see what everyone is stitching and who knows maybe next time I might even sign up for one!

These SAL's are all moderated by Vonna from The Twisted Stitcher blog.  There are no rules you just join in and stitch at your own pace.  So if you're interested check them out:

http://ccn-cottages.blogspot.com/ for the new series of CCN Cottages
http://psabcbee.blogspot.com/ for the Prairie Schooler ABC range
http://littlehouseornies.blogspot.com/ for the Little House Needleworks monthly ornaments
http://littlehouseorniestoo.blogspot.com/ for some more Little House Needleworks ornaments

Vonna is also thinking of setting up a SAL for the new LHN Elizabeth Hancock sampler being released this month.  http://elizabethhancock.blogspot.com/

Well that's it for now, so til next time happy stitching!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's a very revealing Secret Squirrel time

Ssh... it's Secret Squirrel time!
While I can't reveal what I have done for my Margaret Sherry Lovers Blog Christmas Card Exchange I can tell you that it is finished and I have now sent it on it's way to Portgual.  All will be revealed around Christmas Eve/Day.  So stay tuned!

But don't panic Mr Mannering... I can reveal something to you!

Today is the reveal day for the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" Christmas Card Exchange.  I have previously shown you what I sent to Sue in the UK, but I haven't shown you what I received until now.

"Crazy for Kitties" Christmas Card exchange from Sue
After unwrapping the packages from Sue (with a little bit of help from the boys) I had to read the book straight away.  It was a lovely book... all about a sweet little kitten who helped an NZ family through a very touch time.  If you get the chance to read this book make sure you have a box of tissues with you!  I checked out Helen's website and it appears that there may very well be a movie coming out sometime next year.

Now while I can't show you my Margaret Sherry Christmas card I can show what else I have been working on over the last couple of weeks.  The CB "Crazy for Kitties" group also did a Christmas Ornament exchange and I stitched a kitty ornament for Maribeth in the USA.  That was mailed today.  Two finishes in one weekend... must be a record!!

Kitty Ornament for Maribeth (Crazy for Kitties Exchange)
"Merry Kittens Ornaments" - Dimensions

My Christmas Tree
We haven't decorated the bottom in an attempt
 to keep the boys away from the ornaments!

Daisy dog all dressed up for Christmas!
(Woof- get these things off me Mum - woof)
Well lovely bloggers I must finish this post in a bit of a hurry as we have a raging thunderstorm outside tonight.  It has been around since about 4.30pm this afternoon and while it was eased off for about 10 mins or so, it is now back with a vengence and with each thunderclap and lightning strike the power is now flickering.... so I think it's time to say goodnight!  Plus the battery is about to run out on the laptop as is my battery - it is way past my bedtime!!

So before I turn into a pumpkin.. night night, see you all again real soon

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December is here....

Happy December.... here we are on the first day of December and it's the first day of Summer here in Australia, not that you would really know it in Perth at the moment.  We have been having the most delightful weather - not too hot, not too cold, just right!  Although it is apparently going to start warming up towards the end of the week, but so far we have had a very mild lead up to December.  Yes, there has been the odd day when the temp went up to the high 30's during November, but there was been rain and lot of very cool, almost cold nights.  We still have the quilt and blanket on the bed, and I have only just taken the flannette sheets off.  Very strange for this time of the year!  I am enjoying every minute of it too as it won't last - Summer will be here with it's full blast of high 30's to mid 40's any day now!

I meant to show you my latest stash additions yesterday in my post... but I forgot..  Still never mind that just means that I get to pop up in your blog reading list again and say hi!

My latest stash additions are actually all related to making cards.  As you have seen over 2011 I have been stitching for the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" group birthday and Christmas exchanges.  This has been such fun and most of us have signed up again for 2012.  We also have some newbies in the list as well.

With the card exchanges I always like to send a small "kitty" inspired gift.  For 2011 I managed to find some kitty notebooks and fridge magnets, but I always have my eye out for anything that has a kitty on it and is small enough to mail overseas with the card.  On the weekend when we were out shopping I found a shop that had lots of kitty things to buy - so I did!  As Hubby said, "if you don't get them now when you see them, you probably won't be able to find them the next time you come looking for them', and that is so true.

So here's what I got - kitty magnets, bookmarks, key rings and hangers.  Lots of pink ones... which wasn't planned it was just how it happened!  So that's all the gifts for next year's birthday exchange sorted, but it won't stop me looking for kitty inspired things as you just never know what you will find when you least expect to.  It feels good to be so organised.... now all I have to do is to be organised and on time with my stitching!!  That might be a challenge....

Kitty gifts for 2012 CB birthday exchange
While were at the shopping centre I finally managed to scout out where the scrapbooking shop is, and once in there that was just as dangerous - or could have been if I hadn't been looking specifically for Christmas paper for my card (which by the way you will notice I didn't end up using - see previous post to see the card).  But hey, stash is stash and it never gets wasted!

Christmas paper, kitty brads and lovely pins
Close up look at kitty brads and pins
As you can see I even managed to find some kitty inspired stuff in the scrapbooking shop as well.  These gorgeous brads will be perfect for the exchange birthday cards.  I also found some lovely pins which I plan to use when I finally get around to making some pin cushions - whenever that may be!!  Nobody said you have to use stash as soon as you buy it!

Well, I guess that's about it for today.  I hope that the rest of your week goes well, see you all again real soon!

Til next time, happy stitching and happy stashing!